Laburnum Tree

What You May Not Know About The Laburnum Tree

If you have ever had the experience of actually seeing a laburnum tree in person and not just from a picture you would agree that it is a tree that leaves a lasting impression.  It is a decorative tree with an abundance of bright yellow butterfly-like flowers.  The flowers account for giving the tree its alternate name of the Golden Chain tree.

The gorgeous laburnum tree is native mainly to Greece, Europe and Asia.  They are generally not ever bothered by disease or pests for poisonous reasons.  The base of the tree is such a dark glossy brown that if you polish it then it almost looks like a shiny black ebony material.  It is often used for making cabinets.  The tree grows between 20 to 25 feet tall and it can be made up of a single tree trunk or a multi-trunk design.  The trunks are a fabulous rounder shape that almost looks like vases that are housing the rest of the breathtaking tree.  The leaves of this exotic tree have one to two inch leaflets that have a really fuzzy bottom to them when they are young.  These leaves remain this vibrant green color all season and do not change in the fall like other trees do.  The mystical looking clusters of flowers can grow as long as 20 inches long.  This tree in bloom certainly leaves a lasting impression.

The laburnum tree should be grown in a lightly shaded location where it is sheltered from the sun when it becomes the hottest during the day, however, it loves sunshine so it should be able to get plenty of sunlight during cooler parts of the day.  Ideally they will be planted in the spring in very well drained, moist soil.  The roots of this tree grow very deep and that should be taken into consideration when picking out a planting location.  If the tree is under eight feel tall when planting it will generally have long loose roots, anything taller then that will be wrapped in burlap.  After planting you must make sure that the bottom part of the tree is wrapped up in hardware cloth to protect it from rabbits who seem to love this tree trunk.  This tree requires a bit of pruning after it blooms to encourage the branches to flower bountiful next year.  To prune this tree you need to cut away the dead branches and the seed pods.  It is also important to not over water this species.  If the soil is too moist it can easily suffer from root rot.

Although pruning may seem easy, please be aware that this is a very poisonous tree.  All parts of the plant are considered dangerous.  These trees should never be planted where pets play and preferably not at a home with small children.  If you do happen to have a laburnum tree and a child simultaneously then the child should be taught to never touch the black seeds that are in the pods.  They may look like peas but they are not edible and children may be confused by them.  These black seeds have alkaloid poison.  Symptoms that you or your child has been poisoned by the laburnum tree is vomiting, dilated pupils, sleeplessness and convulsive movements.  If any of these symptoms arise and the person in question has possibly been in contact with the tree, they need to seek medical attention.  It is smart to wear long gloves and protective clothing when pruning this tree.

The laburnum tree, flowing with its long chains of tropical looking yellow flowers is graceful, decorative and as rare as it is dangerous.


 

 


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